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What to Look for in a Hiking and Trekking Tour in Ireland

At Overland Ireland, we love getting outdoors and exploring the beautiful Irish countryside. There aren’t many better feelings than putting on some walking boots, leaving life behind for a while, and feeling fresh air revitalize your mind and body.

And many of our customers agree! Now more than ever, visitors want to actively explore our country on foot. In fact, the itineraries we create for tailor-made tours of Ireland often focus on finding the perfect hiking and trekking trails in the most picturesque landscapes.

If this sounds like your idea of time well spent, feel free to get in touch. Let’s start planning your holiday! We want you to have an unforgettable time here on the Emerald Isle, so for now we’ll focus on what you should look for in a hiking or trekking tour in Ireland.

Man Hike

Do You Want to Go Hiking or Trekking in Ireland?

To have the best possible time on your holiday in Ireland, you need to know the kind of trip most suitable for you. Hiking and trekking aren’t interchangeable words for the same thing, so choosing which one you prefer as early as possible is a great place to start.

Put simply, hiking is a long, energetic walk along footpaths and hiking trails that run through a natural environment. Hikes last for a day or can even take place overnight. Trekking, on the other hand, is a long, vigorous hike that lasts for multiple days. It often extends to more wild natural environments.

If the idea of hiking sounds more appealing, you’re in luck! We have previously picked 17 of the best hikes in Ireland, covering some of the most amazing trails our country has to offer!

Group hiking in Ireland

Check the Length and Difficulty of a Hike or Trek Beforehand

Everybody has their own ability and fitness levels, so it’s important to be realistic about what routes you will find enjoyable rather than arduous!  Fortunately, Ireland is relatively flat. Our highest peak, Carrauntoohil, only just creeps over 1,000m in altitude. This means that many hiking tours in Ireland aren’t overly strenuous and require just the right amount of effort.

We always advise heading out on hikes and treks with a local guide. Whether you prefer our self-drive tour packages in Ireland or a custom itinerary built from scratch, Overland Ireland can introduce you to knowledgeable folk who know their area inside out.

Walking with a guide has multiple benefits. First, you have complete peace of mind that, even if you leave the beaten track, you’ll never get lost! This means you can soak in all the stunning scenery with complete peace of mind. What’s more, your guide can also share all the fascinating tales, myths, legends, and history related to the sights you see.

With guided hikes and treks, you’ll be entertained and educated while going on an adventure!

a field with yellow flowers and mountains in the background

The Self-Guided Approach to Hiking Tours in Ireland

Of course, not everyone wants or needs a guide as part of their experience. There are ample opportunities for self-guided hiking tours in Ireland, and they’re an excellent way to experience our country on your terms.

If you don’t have sharp navigational skills, don’t solely rely on your phone for directions. Choose a hiking route that is signposted along the way. One of the best solutions here is a looped walk. These allow you to see as much scenery as possible without having to double back along the same track.

The Kerry Way in County Kerry, one of the very best Ireland hiking tours, is a popular example of this. Learn more about this incredible trekking route with our Ultimate Guide to Walking the Kerry Way.

Whichever option you choose, always take a map and familiarise yourself with local landmarks.

17 Of The Best Hikes In Ireland

Pre-Planned Tours Include Trusted Accommodation

For private, self-guided, and small-group tours in Ireland, accommodation is as important as choosing trails. After a long, enjoyable day in the open air, there’s nothing better than retreating to a comfortable, welcoming guesthouse or hotel to rest your weary legs. A great night’s sleep is the perfect way to prepare yourself for more adventures the next day!

At Overland Ireland, we have long-standing relationships with a network of tried-and-loved accommodation providers. When you book a tour with us, you not only get the perfect place to rest and unwind but also somewhere close to the best local pubs and restaurants.


Consider What Sights You Want to See Along the Way

Hiking and trekking are highly rewarding in their own right. However, taking in iconic sights and jaw-dropping scenery along the way only adds to the enjoyment. Two of the most famous Irish attractions — the Cliffs of Moher and Giant’s Causeway — are conveniently located on hiking trails. You can find the Cliffs of Moher on the brilliant Burren Way in County Clare. Giant’s Causeway is just one of many spectacular sights along the Antrim Coastline.

Another popular excursion that combines Irish history, breathtaking vistas, and connections to spirituality is climbing Croagh Patrick, Ireland’s holiest mountain. If this sounds tempting, check out our guide to hiking Ireland’s Croagh Patrick!

With 44 National Waymarked hiking trails across our country, it’s easy to find fun and exciting ways to venture away from civilization and into the Irish countryside.

Cliffs of Moher

Keep the Weather and Season in Mind…

You can never rely on the Irish weather, but you can always prepare for the worst! Aside from the basics of summer hiking versus winter hiking, advising about specific travel times for outdoor activities in Ireland is a risky game.

However, generally speaking, the period between April and June offers pleasant temperatures for hiking and little rainfall. June also enjoys the longest days of the year. Darkness doesn’t fall until after 10 pm around the summer solstice.

When you’re in Ireland, check Met Éireann, the Irish National Meteorological Service, for reliable daily forecasts. Our local guides can also forecast the weather as they know how clouds pass over the mountains in their area.


…And Always Pack the Right Provisions!

With our country’s changeable weather, you should come prepared for all conditions. Even before the heavens open overhead, you will likely encounter wet and muddy ground, especially outside of summer. Make sure you have adequate walking shoes/boots that you have already broken into. Dress in layers so you can regulate your temperature. Pack waterproofs (jacket, trousers, socks) for protection if the weather takes a turn, items of warm clothing, and spares of essentials.

Ensure you have plenty of water to stay hydrated, especially in warmer weather, and bring high-energy snacks like nuts, fruit, granola bars, and cereal bars. You’ll burn plenty of calories, so you need to top up your energy levels! You should also put a first aid kit in your backpack for emergencies, as well as hand sanitizer and wet wipes.

Are you visiting the Emerald Isle on your own? If you’re looking for local advice, insight, and general reassurance, be sure to read our Ultimate Guide to Solo Traveling in Ireland.


Create Custom Hiking and Trekking Tours in Ireland

We hope this blog has inspired ideas for your upcoming trip to Ireland. Hiking and trekking through breathtaking environments is an experience you will never forget. And with Overland Ireland, it’s easy to create a tailor-made itinerary. Our custom tours in Ireland take you to all the places you want to visit. There’s no better way to ensure a holiday with freedom, flexibility, and, most importantly, fun.

If you have any questions for the Overland Ireland team, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.